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OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The reeling Baltimore Ravens decided to shake up their roster coming off their bye, cutting safety Michael Huff and defensive tackle Marcus Spears.
Huff, who was signed to a three-year, $6 million contract to replace Ed Reed this offseason, was benched in the season-opening loss to Denver. He struggled in his new role on special teams and lost outside containment on Emmanuel Sanders' 44-yard kick return, which jumpstarted the Pittsburgh Steelers' game-winning drive in the fourth quarter two weeks ago.
Huff, a seventh-overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2006, made four tackles on defense for the Ravens this season.
Like Huff, Spears was another disappointing free-agent signing this offseason. Spears, a 2005 first-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys who signed a two-year, $2.75 million contract with the Ravens, missed two of the past three games with a knee injury and was getting outplayed by rookie third-round pick Brandon Williams.
Coach John Harbaugh said before the bye that the Ravens would make changes if it would improve the team. The defending Super Bowl champions are 3-4 after losing three of their past four games.
|Safety Michael Huff, being shaken off by the Broncos' Julius Thomas in Week 1, was released by the Ravens on Wednesday.|
"[What] we'll always try to do is have as strong of a roster as we possibly can and to be as good a team as we possibly can be on Sunday," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "We feel like these moves move us in that direction. We feel like these are the necessary moves that we need to make to be the best team we can be in all three phases. Any message beyond that is guys already understand those things."
The Ravens promoted safeties Omar Brown and Brynden Trawick to fill the open roster spots.
"I really have high hopes for this team," Harbaugh said. "I've told the players that. I really believe this team is really going to catch fire."
Defensive lineman Chris Canty called Wednesday's moves "shocking."
"The message is 'win,' plain and simple," Canty said. "If you don't get your job done, they're going to find somebody else that can get it done."